Smallville actress Allison Mack embraced her role in the controversial group Nxivm and was allegedly “intimidating, cruel and punitive” to the women prosecutors say she exploited, a source told The Hollywood Reporter about the star accused of sex trafficking and related crimes.
Mack is accused of being a high-ranking member of Nxivm and its sub-group DOS, which prosecutors have described as an all-female secret society of “masters” and “slaves” in which women were allegedly forced to be sexually subservient to Nxivm co-founder Keith Raniere.
“These slaves said Mack was incredibly intimidating, cruel and punitive,” a source close to two former DOS members told The Hollywood Reporter in a cover story published last Wednesday. The source added that according to the former members, Mack allegedly threatened to release compromising materials she had gathered on the women if they refused sex with Raniere.
“You made a lifetime vow!” the source alleged Mack screamed at the “slaves” at one point.
“She berated them and told them they were worth nothing, that they were weak and couldn’t uphold their word,” the source alleged. Mack also allegedly threatened to destroy those who refused her orders, or those who dated other men, according to the source.
(The source, like several others quoted in the article, spoke on the condition of anonymity, according to the outlet.)
Both Mack and Raniere face sex trafficking and related charges, to which they have pleaded not guilty. At least one former member of Nxivm has described it as a cult.
The article traces Mack’s path from a bubbly Hollywood starlet to an alleged sex trafficker who faces 15 years in a federal penitentiary if convicted on all charges. It paints an elaborate portrait of an insecure woman who got caught up in a manipulative world of sex, power, and control.
Recruiting Mack by Praising Her
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Nxivm leaders allegedly learned that Mack would be attending an event in late 2006 and took aggressive steps to recruit her because of her celebrity status. Mack — then 23 and one of the leads on the CW’s Smallville — was brought to an event for the group Jness by her co-star Kristin Kreuk, who was, herself, a newly-installed Nxivm member.
Jness is described on its website as “a women’s movement for the modern world” that is “changing the lives of women, one friendship at a time.” In videos she’d posted to YouTube, Mack sings the group’s praises.
Nxivm leaders attached themselves to Mack that weekend, the article alleges, and heaped praise upon the actress, who friends described in the piece as feeling intellectually insecure for not attending college.
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Other actresses working on shows that were being taped in Vancouver were also recruited into the group, the report states, including Battlestar Galactica‘s Grace Park and Nicki Clyne, who has been Mack’s wife since February 2017.
Sources told The Hollywood Reporter that Mack committed herself fully to Nxivm, and her prominence within the organization rose as Mack and Raniere allegedly became romantically involved.
In April, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of New York alleged Mack was an integral member of Nxivm, and was just below Raniere in “DOS” — which, according to a statement from prosecutors, is “an acronym standing for a Latin phrase that loosely translates to ‘Lord/Master of the Obedient Female Companions.’ ”
Mack allegedly had “slaves” beneath her, and either “directly or implicitly required” at least two women “to engage in sexual activity with Raniere” and that “in exchange, for this, Mack received financial and other benefits from Raniere,” prosecutors alleged in the statement.
According to The Hollywood Reporter‘s sources, Raniere “demanded that the women in ‘DOS’ be thin to the point of near-starvation.” He allegedly required that they restrict themselves to diets of 900 calories or fewer a day and report their weight to him daily, sources told the outlet.
A former DOS member is quoted in the piece, and she alleges that if Raniere had difficulty performing sexually — a regular occurrence, she says — “he blamed it on her weight.” Sources also alleged Raniere told the women in DOS “that they were all connected via his sperm.”
Mack allegedly recruited dozens of women into Nxivm and reached out to other celebrities about Jness, including Kelly Clarkson, Emma Watson, and 7th Heaven‘s Beverley Mitchell.
A Personality Shift
As her power within Nxivm increased, Mack’s personality started changing, according to sources quoted in the article. Once exuberant and gentle, she allegedly started lashing out and chastising those around her.
“Her personality [increasingly] turned inside out,” a former employee says in the piece, alleging that “Mack began berating and humiliating her for small infractions.”
According to the former employee, Mack confided that she, herself, would never have children because she isn’t stable.
Prosecutors allege that women in DOS were forced to turn over “collateral” — identified as potentially-damaging personal information or materials, such as nude photographs, with which they were later blackmailed. A cauterizing pen was used to brand Raniere’s initials on the pubic region of women, according to prosecutors.
The Hollywood Reporter article alleges Mack cut off family and friends who used the word “cult” when referencing Nxivm. It also describes the alleged envy the group’s leaders had of Scientology, and how they believed enlisting celebrities would advance the organization’s efforts. Rick Ross, a cult expert, says in the piece that Mack “was the Tom Cruise of Nxivm.”
Friends and former Nxivm followers who know Mack speculate her loyalty to Raniere could end up thwarting the government’s case against him.
They fear is that Mack may try to absolve Raniere by taking full credit for DOS, and claiming he had no knowledge of its existence. “If Allison testifies that Keith didn’t know, that’s a crock of s—,” said Barbara Bouchey, a businesswoman and senior Nxivm executive who dated Raniere for several years before leaving in 2009.
Mack and Raniere are scheduled to stand trial on Oct. 1.